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A Gift for the Next Decade

Viva La D-SIP

Tim and Laurie Wadhams have made a generous gift of $250,000 to establish the Wadhams’ Family Civic Education Fund in the Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP).

At D-SIP’s first donor cultivation event held February 3, 2016, D-SIP’s founding donor, Molly Dobson, graciously shared what D-SIP means to her and why she supports the program.

Tim Wadhams (BA ‘70, MBA ‘73) and his wife, Laurie Wadhams, moved by Molly’s story and by the stories shared by program alumni, generously made a gift of $250,000 to support D-SIP moving forward. Half of their gift will provide funding to cover events such as orientation and leadership workshops, ensuring the best classroom experience for all interns. The other half of their gift will help cover intern costs including the salary of Dobson interns: D-SIP interns who are placed in local nonprofits.

Tim retired as CEO and president of Masco Corporation in 2014. He and Laurie are both honorary members of the Washtenaw County Campaign Leadership Council. Together, they have supported a variety of University of Michigan causes including Student Life, Michigan Medicine, and the School of Dentistry.

D-SIP is extremely grateful to the Wadhams family and pleased to share this news with our D-SIP alumni and supporters. Every gift to our program helps to ensure that we will be able to continue to grow the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

It’s A Small “D-SIP” World After All

For this newsletter’s alumni spotlight, we wanted to highlight 3 alumnae connected by their career choices. Jaime Ziegler (D-SIP 2008), Chelsea Landry (D-SIP 2011), and Marah Casey (D-SIP 2011) have worked at the same nonprofit organizations. Chelsea and Jaime both worked at the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Fisher Foundation. Chelsea and Marah have both worked for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. And Jaime and Marah have both pursued MBAs from Ross! With all that they have shared career-wise, it is no surprise that they also have some shared learnings. We will share these after their intros!

headshotAfter graduating in 2009, Jaime worked for the Fisher Foundation over the summer and then became the Fundraising Events Coordinator for the Chicago Children’s Museum for two and a half years. She then became the Donor Relations Manager at the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy for one and a half years. From there, she returned to Ann Arbor to get an MBA from Ross. Still connected to philanthropy, Jaime served as the graduate chair for the Student Campaign Committee. She graduated from Ross in 2015 and is back in Chicago where she works as a Senior Consultant in Deloitte’s Human Capital Practice specializing in the healthcare provider industry.marah-casey-photo

Marah graduated from U-M in 2012 and joined Teach For America-Detroit. She taught high school government, economics, and psychology for two years. After teaching, she joined the TFA-Detroit staff in a development position, combining her passion for education with her passion for fundraising. As the Specialist of External Affairs and Marketing, Marah managed the corporate and foundation portfolios and managed social media, donor marketing, and stewardship. This past July, she accepted a new position as the Advancement Officer of Institutional Giving at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) where she manages corporate, foundation, and government giving to the DSO. Marah, like Jaime was at one point, is also an MBA candidate.chelsea-landry-photo

And finally, we have Chelsea! In 2012, Chelsea graduated, spent a summer working in development at the Fisher Foundation, and then began to obtain her masters degree in Management of Human Services from the U-M School of
Social Work. Following her masters degree, she worked at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Children’s Museum for just over a year at each place. 2015 brought her back to Michigan and to the Fisher Foundation where she continues to work in development.



Now that you see how much their careers have overlapped, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not, let’s get to the shared takeaways.

  • The Importance of Building Relationships

One of the greatest lessons Chelsea has learned is that relationships matter. “Working with integrity and supporting your team (whether that includes volunteers, coworkers, donors, or grant partners) is one of the most important things you can do.”   Marah would agree that relationships are important, and her way of ensuring a quality relationship with her donors would be to focus on the personal connection.

  • Build and Leverage Your Network!

One thing is clear about building personal relationships – sometimes you need to use them to help you grow. Leveraging your networks and D-SIP connections is sometimes key to success in a new fundraising role. When asked about her connection to Chelsea Landry through the Chicago Children’s d-sip-2011Museum [CCM], Jaime stated, “I hadn’t met Chelsea before the Fisher Foundation, but was impressed that she leveraged her network to connect with me and was happy to recommend her to
the role at CCM. I trusted D-SIP’s selection process completely, and was confident that she would do well in the Fundraising Events Coordinator role after being vetted by so many professionals that I respect.”  Chelsea went on to add,  “
I didn’t realize just how small the for-impact world was until I worked for a few years in the industry! It’s all the more reason to cultivate your professional relationships and to be intentional with your networking.” Reach out to your fellow alumni, and you might be surprised about the opportunities that open up for you!

  • And you guessed it: It’s a Small World!

It is a small world in nonprofits, particularly within our D-SIP family. I’ve been at a number of AFP [Association of Fundraising Professionals] events where I’ve run into other D-SIP alumni or met others who work in nonprofits alongside D-SIP alumni. I love being a part of a closeknit development community and D-SIP has without a d-sip-2008-2doubt helped contribute to that,” says Marah Casey. The D-SIP family is now 241 strong! Alumni work nationally and internationally. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the size of the nonprofit sector, which is over 1 million organizations, come back to your D-SIP family to help make things a little smaller.

Alumni Spotlight: Laura Meyer

Get to know one of our newest D-SIP Alums – Laura Meyer!

Development Trusts & Bequests, Caroline RebelloWhat has been one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned since your time in D-SIP? Or one of the best adventures you’ve had?

My biggest adventure has been moving to DC! I finished up my D-SIP position at the end of this summer, then I packed up my whole car with all my things and drove down here to start my new job. It was a huge risk and hasn’t always been easy, but it’s made me appreciate how strong my support network is, even when they’re in a different state or a different country.

What is your favorite D-SIP memory? Or what is one D-SIP takeaway that has stuck with you?

We had so many amazing memories! One of my favorite memories was our project showcase at the end of the summer – to go from the beginning of the summer, where some of us didn’t even know what our projects were about, to the end of the summer, where we had all accomplished such great things, was incredible. I loved getting to dress up and explore everyone’s accomplishments over heavy appetizers and reflect on the summer. It really made me appreciate what an extraordinary opportunity the D-SIP program is to be an intern while still being entrusted with substantial work that makes a difference across the university. After having quite a few internship experiences, I can say that D-SIP was the most valuable and educational internship I’ve had.

What keeps you busy these days? Feel free to discuss work, family life, and or volunteer commitments.

I recently moved to DC and I work as a development fellow with the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit working to revitalize the federal government by transforming the way government works. Even though development here looks completely different from the higher ed development at U-M, what I learned in D-SIP directly carries over to my work here! I support the entire development team, which includes administrative support for corporate giving, writing acknowledgement letters, supporting events, and whatever else needs to get done.

And The Awards Goes To….

Development Trusts & Bequests, Caroline Rebello

Each year D-SIP honors alumni who have done amazing philanthropic work in the field of development, or in their community.

The first award, the Chrissi Rawak Award of Distinction in Development, was named after one of the program’s visionaries and is given to an alum who has entered the fundraising profession and is doing exceptional work on behalf of their organization. The winner of the award this year was Charlie Goelz from D-SIP 2010! Charlie has been an integral fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. A highlight of his fundraising career is that  he planned five high-dollar fundraising dinners featuring both the President and Vice President.charlieobama

Our second award, the Block M of Honor for Community Impact, recognizes a D-SIP alum who has made philanthropic contributions to their community. The 2016 Block M of Honor recipient was Wesley Ellison, hailing from the very first D-SIP class in 2007! Wesley was recognized for efforts in building the inaugural University of Michigan Youth Impact Program (YIP): a life-changing experience for 100 youth males from the Detroit community which combines academics, leadership development, positive mentoring, life skills, and athletics. Wesley now serves on the Board of Directors for the national program, which has impacted over 2,000 youth.

Development Trusts & Bequests, Caroline Rebello

D-SIP is grateful that both Charlie and Wesley have remained highly connected to the program and are willing to meet with and provide advice to any alum.

Congratulations to Charlie and Wesley!

Alumni Stories

Devel. Trusts, Meaghan Bosse

9/30/16 D-SIP 10 year Reunion at Ruthven Museum.

This past August we reached out to our alumni  for updates. We were thrilled when over 95 alumni responded. Curious to learn more about an alum or one of your peers? Click here to learn more about what alums have been up to since their D-SIP experience.

Viva La D-SIP: Celebrating 10 Years of D-SIP

Devel. Trusts, Meaghan Bosse

9/30/16 D-SIP 10 year Reunion at the Ruthven Museum

Having been the first development internship of its kind, D-SIP turning ten is quite the milestone. Below are some highlights of the past decade as well as some pictures from our recent fall celebration.

  1. One D-SIP family made up of 241 alumni. These alumni work all around the country, and several work internationally.  
  2. Two D-SIP instructors have left an impact on our interns over the years. Dr. Shelley Strickland developed the curriculum and led the academic class for nine years! We were fortunate to have PhD candidate, Jillian Gross, take over the academic class this past summer. Both instructors have provided a foundation of knowledge in philanthropy that has left a mark on each and every D-SIP intern.
  3. Three awards. D-SIP was awarded two national awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and a state award from Crain’s Business Detroit which named D-SIP as the Nonprofit Employer of the Year!
  4. Four-ty alumni have worked full-time for U-M development over the past decade!
  5. Five local nonprofits have participated in our Nonprofit 9-0 consulting project and have benefited from  partnering with our intern consultants! These nonprofits were: AIDS Partnership Michigan (formerly HIV/AIDS Resource Center) Resource Center (now AIDS Partnership Michigan), Fair Food Network, Ypsilanti District Library, The Ark, and The Brides Project.
  6. Six years of Dobson interns. Since 2010, 27 Dobson interns have worked at 23 different Washtenaw community nonprofits.
  7. Seven-teen. The number of interns in the first cohort. The great work by the first cohort is the reason D-SIP is still around.  
  8. Eight-y-Seven percent of our alumni have made a gift to U-M! This is a tremendous giving rate for alumni who have only graduated from U of M at most ten years ago!
  9. Ninth cohort of interns–or the class of 2015, was the first to achieve a 100% alumni giving rate to U-M!
  10. Ten years since the vision for D-SIP became a reality. We are so grateful for Jerry May and Chrissi Rawak’s vision for the program, and for the three graduate students – Kat Walsh, Kasey Alpay, and Marta Brill Marmo – who brought D-SIP to life.

If you were unable to join us for the 10-year celebrations you can still check out photos here.

Meet The Newest Members of the D-SIP Team

This summer D-SIP will have three new staff members. Learn more about them below.

Jillian Gross, EDU 471 Instructor

Jillian Gross joins the team as the new instructor of the educational class. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Before her doctoral studies, Jillian also earned an A.B. at U of M (’01) and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University (’08). Along the way, she has taught high school, served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for two-years, and worked in the nonprofit sector for another eight years. A few of her deepest community engagements include volunteering and working for Habitat for Humanity in different capacities for over twenty years, serving on the Board of Directors for the Mockingbird Society for five years, and collaboratively leading the Project Leadership program at MetroVolunteers. This summer, she is excited to help the interns explore philanthropy as a way of life – one that is intentional, deeply relational, and requires integrity in every interaction.

habitat roof jlg.jpg

Melissa Burns

The D-SIP team now has the help of another alum. Melissa Burns, from the D-SIP class of 2012, is in charge of intern logistics. She also leads the marketing team to recruit the next cohort and manages the interview and selection processes. Melissa graduated from the University of Michigan (’13) with a degree in political science and international studies, and in her free time enjoys exploring new exercise classes (she recently took up fencing!), reading, and exploring all of the wonderful places to eat in the Southeast Michigan area. This summer, she cannot wait to see the interns compete in the Nonprofit 9-0 Challenge, which is a nonprofit consulting challenge held since 2012. Interested in learning more? See our past challenges here.

Caroline Rebello

Caroline Rebello joined the D-SIP team as a program assistant this past November. Caroline manages all of the supervisor logistics–reaching out to units who want an intern and helping to ensure that the supervisors are prepared for the summer! Caroline a semi-recent  graduate of Michigan State University (’14) with a major in Communication, Public Relations and Portuguese. She jumped into the world of philanthropy a little over a year ago. Caroline is the first hire on the D-SIP team who is not a D-SIP/U-M alumni! Outside of the office, she enjoys running, hiking and traveling to Brazil to visit her family. She’s SO excited to learn more from and about the 2016 cohort!

Hail Yeah SP Team